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H W Brands's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books H W Brands recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of H W Brands's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Path to Power

The Years of Lyndon Johnson is the political biography of our time. No president—no era of American politics—has been so intensively and sharply examined at a time when so many prime witnesses to hitherto untold or misinterpreted facets of a life, a career, and a period of history could still be persuaded to speak.

The Path to Power, Book One, reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and urge to power that set LBJ apart. Chronicling the startling early emergence of Johnson’s political genius, it follows him from his Texas boyhood through...
Recommended by H W Brands, and 1 others.

H W BrandsCaro is another master storyteller. Like Parton, Caro supplements the written record with fresh evidence. He was a journalist. He interviewed all sorts of people and got information on Johnson that others hadn’t uncovered. He tells a great, gripping story. One of his volumes on Lyndon Johnson is called The Path to Power. Caro is fascinated by how people acquire power, what they use power to... (Source)

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The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933, volume one of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, is the first of three books that interpret the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the early twentieth century in terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the spokesman and symbol of the period. Portraying the United States from the Great War to the Great Depression, The Crisis of the Old Order covers the Jazz Age and the rise and fall of the cult of business. For a season, prosperity seemed permanent, but... more
Recommended by H W Brands, and 1 others.

H W BrandsThis is another one that was written by a fan. Schlesinger was convinced that the New Deal saved American capitalism, and he wanted to tell the story. (Source)

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Abraham Lincoln

A History, Vol. I

Considered one of the best treatments of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln of its time, this portrait of the man and his administration of the United States at the moment of its greatest upheaval is both intimate and scholarly. Written by two private secretaries to the president and first published in 1890, this astonishingly in-depth work is still praised today for its clear, easy-to-read style and vitality. This new replica edition features all the original illustrations. Volume One covers: the Lincoln lineage from the late 18th century Lincoln's boyhood in Kentucky and Indiana his... more
Recommended by H W Brands, and 1 others.

H W BrandsAnother labour of love, it was written by two young men who adored Abraham Lincoln. John Nicolay was Lincoln’s personal secretary. John Hay was Nicolay’s assistant. They were with Lincoln in the White House. They lived through—and were at the centre of—the Civil War. When Lincoln was assassinated, they believed the greatest man in American history had been taken from the American people. (Source)

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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. less
Recommended by H W Brands, and 1 others.

H W BrandsParton was the great American biographer of the 19th century, and Jackson was his first important biography. (Source)

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"Freeman's treatment of Washington as a Commander in Chief is virtually definitive" (The New York Times Book Review).

Washington is the most complete, definitive one-volume biography of George Washington ever written. In 1948 renowned biographer and military historian Douglas Southall Freeman won his second Pulitzer Prize for his new and dramatic reexamination of George Washington. For years biographies had gone from idolatry to muckraking in their depictions of this somewhat marbleized Founding Father. Freeman’s new interpretation was a fresh step, making Washington...
Recommended by H W Brands, and 1 others.

H W BrandsIt’s the closest thing we have to a definitive account of Washington’s life. Freeman was a fan—there is no doubt about that. He was a Virginian, and he identified with the greatest Virginian in history. It was a labour of love. Freeman was a full-time journalist; he was the editor of a paper in Richmond, VA. Nonetheless, he found time to write seven volumes on Washington. I won’t say that the... (Source)

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